Thursday, April 30, 2009

westward ho! the last chapter

OK -- so after reading my last two postings (for you slowpokes, read Part 1 here and Part 2 here) I bet you were wondering where the quirky pictures and signs were, right? I saved the best for last.

If you've never traveled in western Mass, it's an ever changing scene -- you go through lovely picturesque villages, stately college towns, and areas of poverty and decay. Old farm fields now are home to Walmart and Dunkin' Donuts. Beautiful hills surround old car dumps and crumbling factories. Being a history buff, it was all fascinating to me, but depressing in spots, too.

So here's the last leg of the trip. First, a tree, some ferns, and a few flowers.

The hills have eyes, outside the Williams College Museum of Art

Not quite sure why corrosion is a problem in Northampton,
but they need a department to control it

Do not allow your dog to sit here?

OK, so follow along with me here. This is a public water supply with nice clean water.
No swimming, no boating, no wading. No nothing. So then....

...I go to the ladies room in this cool rustic stone building overlooking all that clean water...

... and see beautiful old marble stalls, presumably from a local marble quarry...

... and this was written about 12 times, all over the walls... STJ was one very proud person!...

...and this was the sign over the sink. Curious.

There were a couple of other interesting sinks in other rustic bathrooms along the way.

And then there was this place.
A sign-lover's paradise, not to mention instant nirvana for the junk collector,
art lover, or connoisseur of quirky things.

These guys live on Long Hollow Bison Farm in Hadley, MA.
Across the street is a Walmart plaza and a McDonald's.

Some buildings in New Salem, MA, a tiny little village with a lot of historic charm. Population 929.

Trying to hitch a ride.

Hardwick Knitted Fabrics, Inc.

This little tree was growing right on the ledge under the eaves.

My favorite photo of the whole trip.
This slogan was carved on a picnic table in New Salem,
overlooking the Quabbin as seen in the next photo.
I didn't notice until just now that my name is also carved on the table.
Click on the photo for a closeup view.

westward ho! part 2

So on day 2 of my trip to western Mass, I headed out on Route 9 and drove to the northwest corner of the state to visit Mass MOCA, the museum of contemporary art in North Adams that is housed in amazing old manufacturing and industrial buildings. Definitely worth the trip if you're in the area. I was as intrigued by the buildings themselves as I was by the art, as you will see from the photos. I decided in the spirit of creative expression to take a few self-portraits in some of the reflective surfaces around the building. Silly.